Here’s an improvement many have asked for over the years: We’ve greatly improved the quality of our MP3 slowdown!
If you use our slowdown feature for any slice that is synced with an MP3 (as opposed to a video), you’ll now find the slowdown sounds much better — making the music easier to transcribe or learn from.
Our old slowdown algorithm resulted in artifacts, jitters and overall unpleasant/distracting sounds. The new algorithm isn’t perfect — this kind of thing can never be perfect — but it’s a lot better. Here are a few demos:
We call the new approach “enhanced slowdown,” and our player now uses it by default if your web browser and device can handle it. You can see whether enhanced slowdown is active — and toggle it on/off — by clicking the speed and using the checkbox:
Note that you won’t see that checkbox if you’re viewing a slice with video (as opposed to an MP3 recording), or if you’re on an old web browser. If enhanced slowdown is turned off or unavailable, then our player will use our legacy slowdown algorithm.
On some older devices, or on iOS, enhanced slowdown might result in choppy audio and/or sluggish player performance. If this is the case for you, just use that checkbox to turn it off.
Another small improvement: if you change the speed during playback, our old slowdown would quickly pause and resume playing the audio — resulting in a choppy feel. With enhanced slowdown, the audio keeps playing during speed changes, and the speed smoothly transitions. One less thing to distract you during practice.
And another thing! As part of this change, we’ve improved MP3 loops to be perfectly timed. If you create a loop for an MP3 recording, the audio will be identical each time through.
So rejoice, percussionists and anybody else who relies on looping while practicing. This means no more split-second gaps between loop iterations. It’s a subtle change but personally I’ve found it makes a big difference in my own music practice.
This improvement applies only to MP3 recordings. We can afford to do some more sophisticated processing if we’re dealing with an audio file as opposed to streaming video. We’ve beefed up our help page on looping to point out the subtle differences in loop precision across the various types of recordings (MP3, video and synthetic playback).
If you’re creating instructional material on Soundslice and you want your students to use perfect loops, we highly recommend using an MP3 recording to take advantage of this. A slice can have multiple recordings, so you can offer your students both an MP3 and a video version as needed (see here for info on multiple recordings — it’s one of my favorite Soundslice features).
Enhanced slowdown and perfect looping are now available sitewide on any slice that has an MP3 recording. You don’t need to have a paid plan in order to use enhanced slowdown, but note that you do need a paid plan in order to add MP3s to slices you create. Enjoy the new features!